Coto de Imaz 1995 Rioja Reserva ($15.99)
Dark ruby in color, it breathes a pleasant aroma of hot blueberry pie and vanilla ice cream that may owe as much to oak as fruit. Bright, mixed-berry fruit flavors and oaky vanillins on the palate, with soft but perceptible tannins that become more evident in the finish, suggest that oak is playing a major role at this point. At $5 less, the lovely El Coto may be a better buy at this point. But for all its oak, the Reserva is a tasty wine too, easy to sip; and assuming that it follows the usual pattern of Rioja Reserva, it will last and improve for many years. U.S. importer: Frederick Wildman & Sons Ltd., NYC. (May 30, 2000)
FOOD MATCH: Pan-grilled strip steaks with lots of cracked black pepper make a natural match for this youthful red.
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